OSHA to Target Nursing Homes, Manufacturing Facilities for Inspections

OSHA said its Site-Specific Targeting 2009 program will focus enforcement efforts on nearly 4,000 high-hazard worksites on the agency's list for comprehensive safety inspections. The agency said the SST program helps it direct enforcement resources to workplaces such as manufacturing and nursing homes where the highest rate of injuries and illnesses occur.

Changes to this year's program include dividing the primary list of establishments slated for inspection into three sectors--manufacturing, non-manufacturing, and nursing homes. Rather than using one rate for all establishments, OSHA established minimum injury and illness rates for each group, allowing the agency to inspect even more establishments that exceed the minimum rates specific to that sector. Additionally, some facilities that did not answer an OSHA Data Initiative survey will be added to the inspection list. The agency said its intent is to deter employers from not responding to avoid inspection.

"These inspections examine all aspects of a workplace's operations and the effectiveness of its safety and health efforts," said acting Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA Jordan Barab. "The SST program emphasizes to employers the importance of ensuring safe working conditions for workers."

The SST-09 inspection program is based on injury and illness data from the agency's 2008 Data Initiative survey of 80,000 employers, with 40 or more workers, in industries with historically high occupational injury and illness rates. The primary and secondary lists show case rates calculated from the number of days away from work, restricted work activity or job transfer (DART), or a "days away from work injury and illness" (DAFWII) rate.

The primary list includes 3,100 manufacturing establishments with a DART rate of 8 or more, or a DAFWII rate of 6 or more. The 500 non-manufacturing establishments have a DART rate of 15 or more or a DAFWII rate of 13 or more. The remaining 300 establishments are nursing homes and personal care facilities with DART or DAFWII rates of 17 or more or 14 or more, respectively.

The secondary list shows establishments in manufacturing with a DART rate between 6 and 8, or a DAFWII rate between 4 and 13; non-manufacturing with a DART rate between 6 and 15, or a DAFWII rate between 4 and 13; and nursing homes and personal care facilities with DART or DAFWII rates between 15 and 17 or between 11 and 14, respectively.

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